Behind the Curtain: Fall Play “Clue” Performed Virtually

Things in the theater-world have been looking bleak lately; Broadway has announced it will be staying closed through the spring, and many people don’t know when they’ll be able to perform or see another show again due to COVID-19. Thankfully though, PVHS will be performing “Clue” for this year’s virtual fall play. The show will stream live on December 11th.

The director, Mrs. Mcallister, explained how the drama department would be accommodating this year’s show.

“The show will be streaming on Broadway.com on December 14th, 2020. We will perform the scenes on zoom with a narrator to help the audience understand what is happening in the show since the actors must remain in one place. While the actors are on zoom, audience members can watch live from their homes through the Broadway streaming service”, McAllister said.

Essentially, each actor will be streaming from their own homes separately, while the audience watches from a livestream recording of the zoom call. Although a daunting task, the cast and crew have been working hard to create a show that will entertain the audience.

 “It’s definitely more stressful. We have a lot less time than we usually do,” said senior John Baronowski, who plays the butler, Wadsworth. “But that’s only going to push us even harder to put on a good show.”

Deciding on a show that would fit the format of a virtual setting was difficult as well , especially since it would have to accommodate a smaller, more personal cast.

“For the past few years, we have been doing a drama for the fall play, so we wanted to give the cast this year a chance to perform in a comedy. “Clue” seemed like the perfect choice given our community of actors. When COVID-19 hit, and they offered a virtual option, we were grateful since it was our top choice,” explained McAllister.

This set up obviously differs from the way a production usually happens, however everyone has been working hard to adapt to these changes.

“I think it will make the show extremely unique and will definitely be remembered as the school’s first virtual production. We are all aware of the possible technical issues, but we will be sure to make the best of it”, said senior Kelly McKenzie, who will be playing the role of Mrs. White.

There’s another twist to this year’s show as well, there will in fact be two separate casts performing. In order to accommodate both the smaller cast size, and the many aspiring performers who auditioned, the directors decided to create two groups; the Suspect Cast as the main cast, and the Witness Cast as the understudies. The Witness Cast will be creating a pre-recorded tape of their performance, while the Suspect Cast will be performing their show live next week.

“With a virtual show, we wanted to keep the cast as small as possible, partially why we chose “Clue.” We still wanted to give as many students an opportunity to participate as possible. The second cast gives other students the possibility to get a chance to grow as performers and participate even though the cast is smaller,” student director Janey Huston said.

“I am really excited to be the understudy for Miss Scarlett, because it is my first time having a lot of lines, and it has helped me learn so much about acting that I think has helped me improve,” said freshman Victoria Hall.

This year’s production has certainly faced its trials as well, since so much in the world of theatre requires people interacting in person, and rehearsing and bonding as a group.

“I am a little nervous to be acting only from the chest up. It will be tough to keep everything smooth through the story. I’m excited to be a part of it though,”explained junior Christian Sibel, who is playing Mr. Green.

Despite these challenges, the cast and crew are still looking forward to putting on an amazing performance.

“It’s definitely an uplifting and light show for a very dark year. It is hilarious, and full of laughter and antics,” said senior Julia Gerberich, who works as the costume designer and will be playing Mrs Scarlet.

Follow the show on Instagram @pvhsclue for updates and check email for the link to the live stream which will be released next week! The show airs on December 11th at 7:00 pm.